Written on: 20/03/2011
I intially attempted to book a pair of longhaul flights through lastminute.com over the internet, but was unable to, so I tried over the phone. I was put through to a woman in England who told me their system was down, and advised me to call back later. I did so, but reached a call centre in the Indian subcontinent. I found the accent of the man on the phone very difficult to understand.
I work with many colleagues from that part of the world, and the gentleman in the call centre was much more difficult to understand than average.
The confirmation email showed me that my very common British surname had been mis-spelt, so it now resembled no surname I had ever come across. I immediately phoned lastminute.com, before the e-ticket was issued, to correct the mistake. I was told the surname on the ticket that did not yet exist could not be changed, and that I would have to cancel the ticket and purchase a new one at full cost. I would receive a refund, this was the refund from the actual airline, minus the lastminute.com administration fee, in total approximately 6% of the full cost of the ticket. These conversations on their premium rate phone number cost about £20.
I complained and was sent a letter telling me the incident would be investigated. I chased this up with several letters and many emails.
I have not received any refund or any further correspondence regarding their investigation. I contacted watchdog. I booked my replacement ticket through another company.
I would advise against using lastminute.com as I found their customer service utterly unacceptable. They took my money without apology. One can only hope that by boycotting these irresposible companies they will be forced to change the industry rules.
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